DIAGNOSIS Joel's Story Ulcerative Colitis

Finally! A Diagnosis – Ulcerative Colitis

In the same dreary medical building as Dr. Lin was my first GI Doctor.

In the waiting room, I signed in with the nurses, sat in an uncomfortable chair. Waited.

I didn’t belong here.

I didn’t have gray hair.

Niagara Falls with Friends in 2001

I was only 28 years young.

Maybe my BMI was high for my age and weight.

Maybe I wore over-sized clothing due to lack of self-confidence.

But I did not belong here!

Everyone was decades older.

Surely this must be a mistake.

Inside the patient room, my body tensed.

Hanging from the walls, neatly organized, were black tubes. Different lengths and thickness.

Minutes later, I was laying on my side, watching an 11” black and white TV as my Dr performed a sigmoidoscopy.

I was thankful that this test would tell me why I wasn’t able to hold food down.

Inside, the pressure built.

I held my breathe in my desire for him to obtain all the diagnostic information necessary to see what was causing my bathroom runs.

Seconds later the pressure was gone, and I was asked to clean up, get dressed and meet him in his office.

I was not used to having my body invaded like this before.

In his office were comfortable antique chairs.

He sat behind the large executive brown wooden desk.

His mouth moved but I didn’t hear most of the words.

The problem didn’t matter to me, I just wanted a solution. He said something about Chronic Ulcerative Colitis(UC), three words I hadn’t ever heard before.

Engineers are not known for our vast vocabulary. I had no idea what Chronic meant.

He gave me two prescriptions and sent me on my way.

Rowasa, and Asacol both containing Mesalamine.

Checking out with the nurses to pay my co-pay, I mentioned I’d likely go home and Google about UC.

They warned me about what I would read.

Ironic as years later Dr. Google would be my savior.

I drove to the pharmacy, picked up my prescriptions, and went home to my computer.

Dr. Google
Dr. Google

If I had the capability of crying back then I would have  

I was ANGRY at the doctor for not explaining what chronic-disease truly meant.

I BEAT MYSELF UP for my body breaking down like this.

I was ANGRY at the world.

Looking back I’m ANGRY the Doctor didn’t mention the number of Ulcerative Colitis cases who had been cured, who had cured themselves, who found relief in a number of unconventional treatments.

I was hopeful the medication would stop my bathroom runs

I referred to my Doctor as Dr. Poor Bedside Manners

Dr. Tin Man, because just like the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz, he had no Heart

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